Rain brings insects and threat of Three Day Sickness
NORTH COAST producers are urged to be the lookout for Three Day Sickness (Bovine Ephemeral Fever) over the coming months.
While the rain has been welcome, the wet weather may bring with it an increase in insect numbers.
These biting insects may bring with them the risk of diseases such as Three Day Sickness. Three Day Sickness, or Bovine Ephemeral Fever, is a viral disease of cows transmitted by biting insects such as mosquitoes and midges.
North Coast Local Land Care district vets are advising producers to be on the lookout for Three Day Sickness over the coming months.
Animals affected with Bovine Ephemeral fever experience a sudden onset of fever and are often reluctant to move.
These animals stop eating and become depressed and can drool saliva, develop a nasal discharge and may have watery eyes.
The fever may cause temporary infertility in bulls and abortions in pregnant cows.
Typically affected animals are only sick for a few days hence the name Three Day Sickness, however, some animals do take much longer to recover.
Deaths may occur in a small percentage of affected animals.
Once cattle have been infected with the disease, most develop long term immunity. For this reason, the condition is most commonly seen in younger animals.
However, given Three Day Sickness virus activity has been relatively low for the past two years, there may be many animals that have not been previously exposed to the virus and so will lack immunity.
A vaccination is available and requires two doses of vaccine at least four weeks apart to achieve adequate protection and should be given before the virus is active in the area for best results.
If you have any questions regarding Three Day Sickness, please contact your North Coast LLS District Veterinarian on 1300 795 299 or your local vet.